Airbus Defence and Space and its partner RIKS (the State Infocommunication Foundation), the technical operator of Estonia’s national TETRA network, is performing a field trial of the Tactilon Agnet smartphone application - formerly known as TSA - for two months.
Voluntary civil defence and governmental organisations want to confirm Tactilon Agnet’s ability to fulfil the operational requirements for typical mission-critical communication. The field trial combines the use of public broadband networks and Tetra services.
For the field trial, Airbus has provided a service cloud environment and delivered an RCS9500 integrated radio dispatching system, an automatic vehicle location solution, a TETRA base station, several TETRA radios, and different types of smartphones equipped with the Tactilon Agnet application.
The application enables smartphone users to make instant group calls (push-to-talk feature) and send messages to TETRA users as if they were equipped with TETRA devices.
During the field trial, Airbus and RIKS aim to validate the use of various types of smartphones in different operational situations. In addition, both Airbus and RIKS want to collect information about how mission-critical TETRA communication features have to be operated in an LTE environment.
To push the LTE-based Tactilon Agnet application to its limits, RIKS has set up, in cooperation with commercial operators, a challenging and complete test environment that includes not only a regular LTE network on the 800 and 2600 MHz frequencies, but that also includes a mobile LTE base station that is connected to the core network via broadband satellite link.
Olivier Koczan, Head of Secure Land Communications at Airbus Defence and Space., explained “As we observe an increasing demand for broadband group communication with multimedia features among mission critical users, Airbus Defence and Space offers a unique solution called Tactilon Agnet.
“It provides fully-fledged, seamless and secure integration of TETRA radio users with those who use Tactilon Agnet on their smartphones.” He pointed out that RIKS and Airbus Defence and Space are “clearly on the verge of introducing mission-critical communication features of the next generation”.
Estonia’s public safety organisations have communicated within a nationwide TETRA network from Airbus Defence and Space since 2007. In 2015, the company delivered critical communication solutions enabling the use of LTE networks, which will also be used to test the Tactilon Agnet application. This solution provides high availability and secure access through commercial LTE network services.